Visiting the states, or even watching American TV shows back at home, you come to realise that we often have different ways of saying things – whether that be the accent, or because we use completely different words. Of course, we all know the obvious ones – trousers are pants (hilarious), petrol is gas, queue is a line and route is pronounced ‘rowt.’
However since my time here (2 months so far, only 1 month to go!) there have been a few little awkward mishaps, ones that nobody prepared me for, regarding the British / American differences…
Take a dinner party the other week… Now I know that a ‘Pot Luck’ party is where you each bring a dish without conferring, so it will be ‘pot luck’ what you end up eating for dinner. My British ears, however, instead of hearing ‘Pot Luck Party’ heard, ‘Padlock Party.’ My mind was going mad, confused by the concept, worried about being locked up.
Things got worse the other day… I’ve been helping out at Kids’ Summer Adventure Camp for the last month, and the other day, little Landon and I share a special moment. Landon is five years old.
Landon sits next to Kelsie and he shouts, “I’m going to give her herpes!!!”
My eyes widen.
“Excuse me, Landon! What did you say!?” I yell back, horrified.
“I’m going to give her herpes!” he repeats.
Oh. Her piece.
He was referring to the biscuit. Or should I say, ‘cookie.’
How amusing. I have enjoyed spending lots of my time with the little ones, more than I thought I would. Before, (in all honesty) I didn’t hate little kids, but I didn’t really like them much either. How things have changed. Now, I’m fascinated.
The conversations you have with them can be comedy gold. Take Sylvie (5): little Sylvie who resembles a miniature Lindsay Lohan (Parent Trap Movie) intelligently picks up that I speak with a different accent. “So where are you from?” she asks.
“I’m from England.”
To which she goes, “Oh! My Aunty Sue is from England. We’ve been to visit her before. Her name is Aunty Sue but, but, but, her friends just call her Sue. Do you know her?”
“Well where in England is she from?”
“She’s from England.”
“Did you know that we went to England and Bristol and then back to England again.”
“Sylvie, Bristol is in England.”
“We went to both.”
“Just like California is in America, Bristol is in England.”
“No, you weren’t there. We went to both.”
Or I love how they speak about the past sometimes. Here, Landon features again.
“A long time ago, when I was really little. I was really small. I tripped over a soccer ball and I hurted my knee. I was only 4 years old.”
“Really little, huh? How old are old are you now, Landon?”
“Oh, now I’m 5. In three months I’ll be 5 and a half.”